Curiosities of Biological Nomenclature
Mark Isaak
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Wordplay: Rhymes and Alliteration

Adonnadonna primadonna (siliceous microfossil) The name comes from a song in a National Lampoon album, which uses those words to refer to a primadonna girl.
Aequorea victoria (bioluminescent hydromedusa)
Alcelaphus buselaphus Pallas, 1766 (hartebeest) A. buselaphus buselaphus, an extinct subspecies, gives a trinomial rhyme.
Alouatta ululata Elliot, 1912 (howler monkey) Often, though, considered a subspecies, Alouatta belzebub ululata.
Apolysis crisis Evenhuis, 1990 (bee fly)
Apus opus (common (European) swift)
Bacillus subtilis (Ehrenberg 1835) Cohn, 1872 (bacterium, a mild relative of anthrax)
Bacillus pumillus (bacterium)
Botaurus stellaris (Eurasian bittern)
Cedusa medusa McAtee, 1924 (planthopper) See Repetition for several other rhymes in the genus.
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (oxeye daisy)
Chrysophora chrysochlora (Latreille) (scarab)
Eclectus infectus Steadman, 2006 (parrot)
Equisetum myriochaetum (giant Mexican horsetail).
Etiella zinckenella (Treitschke, 1832) (pulse pod borer moth)
Ganesella carinella Möllendorff, 1902 (snail)
Gelae belae Miller and Wheeler, 2004 (fungus beetle) See also the other puns on Gelae.
Gelis agilis (Fabricius, 1775) (ichneumonid wasp)
Gymnothorax mordax (California moray)
Heterosquilla polydactyla (mantis shrimp)
Iyaiyai Evenhuis, 1994 (fossil chaoborid fly) Evenhuis originally proposed "I" as the genus name (allowed by the ICZN rules), but a chaoborid worker told him he didn't want ever to have to write in a paper that "I have small male genitalia", so Evenhuis changed it to a more Mexican sounding genus name.
Linum trigynum L. (French flax)
Macrotis lagotis Reid, 1837 (Rabbit-eared bandicoot)
Paraceratherium Forster-Cooper, 1911 (Oligocene hornless rhino). An internal rhyme.
Pyralis regalis (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) (meal moth). Also Pyralis farinalis Linnaeus, 1758, Pyralis electalis Hulst, 1886, and others.
Raffia ruffia (raffia plant) Also noted for having the largest leaves, up to 65.5 ft. long.
Rana bwana Hillis & DeSa, 1988 (South American frog) Named in honor of renowned herpetologist Dr. James R. Dixon. Dixon had many taxa named after him already, so Hillis and DeSa named the frog after Dixon's nickname, "Bwana" Jim.
Sagittarius serpentarius J.F. Miller, 1779 (secretary bird)
Salacca zalacca (Indonesian palm)
Scelio ardelio Yoder, 2014 (parasitic wasp) [Zookeys 380]
Sphex rex Hensen, 1991 (digger wasp)
Tamoya ohboya (Bonaire banded box jellyfish)
Trichuris muris (nematode)
Tuta absoluta Meyrick, 1917 (South American tomato moth)
Yi qi Xu et al., 2015 (Jurassic theropod) pronounced "EE CHEE".

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